Take a deep breath…

7 Mar

…as you step inside a Babies ‘R Us.  To say that it is an experience would be the understatement of the century.  It doesn’t matter what relation you have to the baby… mommy-to-be, daddy-to-be, grandma, honorary aunt, illegitimate father…perhaps you’re just late for a girlfriend’s baby shower and annoyed because that silly printer just spit out 27 pages  of registry lingo that is directing you to “breast buddy” nursing pillows when all you desperately need to find are the newborn onsies.  Whatever the case may be, when you step foot into this mecca of baby blues and pinks, be prepared to witness some beautiful truths about the baby world.  I’m willing to bet that if you ventured out to your nearest retail baby store right this minute you’d see some version of the following characters:

*Frantic Coupon Lady: We’ve all been in her shoes.  This poor woman is desperate for a deal and it shows.  We stare as she heaves herself up to the counter with her stack of crumpled coupons trying to weed out the ones that aren’t expired or for a different store. Her cart(s) are overflowing with economy size boxes of diapers.  She’s either investing in enough pampers to donate to every children’s orphanage in Sub-Saharan Africa, or the sunday paper advertised one heck of a deal on huggies and she’s stocking up on diapers for not only her offspring, but also for her children’s children.  We salute Coupon-Mom, as you attempt to rise above the recession and not let your child’s undergarments “poop” you out of house and home.

*Clueless Daddy-to-Be: Awww…we feel bad for this guy from the moment we see him.  He’s just trying to catch a breath in between his heart palpations at the cost of a can of formula (suddenly the function of his wife’s breasts just took on a whole new meaning of “lucrative”) and the sweat beads trickling down his neck at the thought of having to put together: _______________. (Fill in the blank with crib, dresser, armoire, bookshelf, pack ‘n play, bassinet, bouncy chair, swing, everyday stroller, jogger stroller, umbrella stroller, carseat, high chair, exersaucer, walker, etc.)  We sympathize with him as he thinks about his impending “honey-do” lists with the baby on the way, but we also know his concerns for “leftover screws” after assembling nine million baby gadgets will go out the window the first time they put that bambino in his arms. 

*Mother-of-newborn baby-and-toddler:  This woman is slightly painful to witness.  You’re engulfed with an overwhelming sense of pity as you gaze at the puke-stained 3-day-old sweatpants she’s sporting, and a bit concerned as she loses sight of her 2 year-old for the umpteenth time as he/she plays hide ‘n seek amidst the endless racks of make-you-wanna-drool-they’re-so-cute onsies.  With her newborn baby starving, and her toddler possessing unnerving amounts of energy that she wishes she had a fraction of, she tirelessly searches for the “few” things she needs on her list to get in and get out.  Quite frankly, she’s a hot mess.  Her hair hasn’t seen a brush in weeks, putting together a matching top and bottom was a feat she sacrificed months ago, and as long as she leaves the store with two children and only one of them is crying, the trip to the store will be deemed a raging success.

*First-time Expectant Mother: I must say, I’ve got a soft spot for this group…being that I recently joined the ranks myself.  The women in this category have an unspoken bond as we saunter about the store googly-eyed about the endless possibilities we dream of for the creature currently residing in our bellies, smiling for no reason.  We look around at all the delicious outfits and our high hopes to have our kid make the “best dressed” list are dwarfed by our actual hopes and dreams for our little ones.  We know that we’ve got the world on our shoulders to bring another life into the world and not “screw it up.”  Yet, in spite of the daunting pressure this challenge can bring, it somehow subsides as we think about all of the “firsts” we’ll soon begin to experience with our baby…the first time you hold him…the first time you kiss her…the first time you feed him…the first time you dress her…the first time you take him on a walk with Daddy in the park…the first time you complete a successful trip to the grocery with her in the shopping cart…the first time they smile…the first time they laugh…the first time they reach for you…the first time you realize that there was nothing else in the world you were meant to do more than be their Mommy.

Life moves pretty fast…especially in a place like Babies ‘R Us.  But if you stop and look around, you’ll notice that we’ve all got something in common.  Each of our lives have been touched by a very big thing that comes in a very small package.  And once those little feet step into our big world, we will never, ever be the same.

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6 Responses to “Take a deep breath…”

  1. Abby March 9, 2009 at 11:41 pm #

    Sooooo well put, Shubie. I completely agree. You are a GREAT writer 🙂

  2. shumaluckbucky March 10, 2009 at 12:21 pm #

    Notes from a “Clueless Daddy-to-be”

    Here are the things actually going through the mind of a first-time expectant father in Babies-R-Us:

    – Ummmm… What’s going on? Where am I?
    – If everyone in here is expecting a miracle, why do they all look miserable?
    – Let’s see… 19.99 for 3 square inches of cloth. Sure, that’s reasonable.
    – OK… That’s a completely unnecessary product
    – So is that
    – And that
    – She’s pregnant? Really??? Someone really took one for the team.
    – My child deserves a better role model than me.
    – Someone shut that baby up. My kid isn’t going to scream like that.
    – If she really values my opinion on that car seat, then why has she already radded it to the registry?
    – Hey… There’s another guy. I’m gonna head nod at him to create a connection.
    – I want to go home.

  3. Rachie March 10, 2009 at 10:31 pm #

    Love the hubby’s comments. I don’t know who’s funnier between the two of you! I think this is my favorite post yet. You sure do know how to paint a mental picture, Mrs. Perkins. ROTF.

  4. Joni March 11, 2009 at 2:15 pm #

    I am pretty sure I was the “mother of baby and toddler” you were having pity on! I am happy to say I am finally coming around though 🙂 At least for today….

  5. abs March 11, 2009 at 9:49 pm #

    omg….. soo funny! Colin, I have the same feelings when I walk in! Seriously, this post had me laughing so hard I had to explain to the roommate! love you guys 🙂

  6. Gwen Martin March 14, 2009 at 4:11 pm #

    Dear Mama & Papa Perks,

    Am enjoying reading about your journey to
    impending parenthood. It is fun to revisit this
    time (as a grandmother) rather than going thru
    it (physically) again.
    Enjoy this 9 mo. of GETTING to parenthood,
    cause you ain’t seeen nothin’ yet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Best wishes to you both. Am anxiously awaiting
    word on the sex and/or name of “Baby Perks”
    Also, do you have a “theme” for his/her room?
    Bye for now and LOVE to all.

    Gwen Martin
    (Papa Perks’ aunt–which makes me Baby Perks’
    great aunt)

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